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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Eureka Waterfront Greens Resolution for Eureka City Repairs

Of the Waterfront Greens

Resolution Regarding Sidewalk and Storm Drain Repair

Whereas, The City of Eureka has scheduled a period of discussion regarding sidewalk repair needs; and,
Whereas, City officials have, in violation of the City Council’s own policy that Eureka shall be a "street-tree-lined city," perpetrated a policy of ripping out street trees, some of which have grown in place for over twenty years, the reason given that the sidewalks are being damaged by tree roots; and,
Whereas, City officials have thus far refused to consider the alternative of rebuilding sidewalks to incorporate additional space for tree growth, as well as for planter strips to increase the green space present in the city; and,
Whereas, Water runoff from local rainfall has been found to inundate neighborhoods in Eureka, causing sidewalk, street and property damage to local residences and businesses, and also presenting a public safety hazard to navigation by pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles, including the egress of schoolchildren to safely get to and from their homes; and,
Whereas, One of the primary causes of this inundation is the City of Eureka’s antiquated storm drain system, which fails to deliver adequate capacity for the amount of rainfall and runoff generated, especially in winter months and especially during periods of unusually high rainfall; and,
Whereas, Climate change affecting local weather patterns may further increase the environmental impact on the storm drain system, increasing the danger of flooding of local residences and businesses; and,
Whereas, Due to the backlog of storm water in insufficient storm drains which spill out onto streets, sidewalks and property parcels, contaminants from vehicles and other point-source pollution are built up in storm surge waters which eventually reach Humboldt Bay, exacerbating bay clean-up issues; and,
Whereas, Of particular concern is the storm drain system in the I Street and J Street neighborhood near the Eureka Women’s Club, Eureka High School and Cooper Gulch, where vast pools of water collect on J Street from Tenth Street to Sixteen Street, with repeated complaints to City officials by residential property owners having generated only inaction from Public Works; and,
Whereas, According to Public Works director such and such, there are over 9,000 water meters in the city which are potentially faulty, which may lead to the chronic overbilling of residents and businesses in the city for water and sewer services they have not used; and,
Whereas, The recent proposal to automate the water meter system may cover up the potential fraud which has taken place due to faulty billing and the negligence therein, despite repeated complaints regarding this system and regarding the attitude of public works officials towards these complaints; and,
Whereas, City officials have also perpetrated a policy of removing benches and bus shelters from local sidewalks, the reason given is that they are being used by homeless people to rest upon; and,
Whereas, These conditions undermine the City Council proclamation of Eureka as a "street-tree lined city," jeopardize the environment, impose an undue burden on local residents and businesses, violate social justice and undermine the confidence of residents in their public works department. Therefore be it
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens demand the alteration of the City of Eureka’s policy regarding the removal of street trees, and instead offering the alternative of reconstructing sidewalks to fit around street trees. Be it further
Resolved, The construction of all new sidewalks and rebuilding of damaged sidewalks shall incorporate tree wells and planter strips so that street trees can be planted and landscaping can be installed. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens urge analysis of Humboldt Bay environmental conditions to take into account storm water runoff conditions and to offer recommendations on habitat remediation. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens insist upon the restoration of all benches and bus shelters which have been removed in Eureka, as well as consideration of additional bench space throughout the city. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens call upon the City of Eureka’s public works department and public safety officials to immediately remediate the buildup of stormwater in the I Street and J Street area. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens also urge city officials to conduct an overall study of the storm drain system to increase its capacity and remove threats to public health and safety. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens suggest the pruning and clean-up of the upper gully near the I Street and J Street neighborhood to improve its water retention capacity, remove non-native species and improve access to public property by Eureka residents. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens insist upon an independent audit of every water meter in the city to ensure precise measurement of water use to increase public confidence in the city’s system. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens also insist that any findings of overbilling in such a study shall immediately lead to refunds by the city of Eureka to the affected residents and businesses. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens call for an independent investigation of the water meter system and the City’s electronic and paper records thereof to check for cases of overbilling. Be it further
Resolved, The Waterfront Greens offer their services for any local residents or businesses who wish to compare their water meter readings to their water bills. Be it further
Resolved, The Historian shall transmit this resolution to the Mayor and City Council of Eureka, City Manager David Tyson, City of Eureka Public Works Department, Humboldt Transit Authority and all local media.


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